Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Awakening Conscience

So I've made up my mind about how to post or whatever, I hope you'll enjoy it.

Today I've chosen The Awakening Conscience (1853), painting by William Holman Hunt, one of the founders of The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. I decided to talk about it because my Polish teacher used to say how much she hated this painting, (it was on the the cover of some editions of Granica by Z. NaƂkowska) and I just couldn't agree with her. Well I can't really say I love this painting but there's just something about it.

Okay, so let's take the couple first. The man is talking with somebody we can not see.  Somebody who's maybe standing in the door, or maybe leaning the piano. He seems very absorbed with the discussion. The woman, on the other hand, seems to be completely lost in her thoughts or maybe she's just recalled something or she saw something outside.  The visitor surely interrupted the whole scene. The man was playing the piano for the lady, he still has one hand on the keyboard or perhaps he was showing  her how to play something.  What about their relationship, are they lovers, maybe they're married.

I guess one of the reasons why I like this painting are the details, well I know there are many, many, many other paintings with great details, but hey, that's what makes them more interesting.

So it's a sunny summer or late spring day but it's not that warm, at least in the house. The lady is wearing a thick-looking scarf around her hips, either for decoration or maybe it's just slipped from her arms. (the scarf is really pretty, I wish I had a similar one). Also the mans clothes are suggesting that there might not be so warm. I know that he's dressed probably with the latest fashion, but doesn't his suite look more like a coat?

Oh look a bird! But what's with that cat, he looks as if he was interested in the conversation, pretty funny isn't it? Anyway I've never heard of a bird inside a house, well I maybe in 19th century it wasn't so uncommon.;d

I really like the interior details. They are so intricate!

That's all for today.  Have a nice day and I hope see you soon with another post (:

1 comment:

  1. Interesting choice. Again, you are focusing on details and painter's great skill but there is actually a great underlying story if you try to follow it. I could not resist looking up the interpretations of this painting because of the intriguing title. Check out that:


    I could write an essay on that but I don't what to repeat what has already been written. Let me just briefly point out some details that caught my attention:
    1. The cat paying with the bird (brought from outside world to this place) is really a great allegory to their relationship
    2. She is looking outside through the door and sees a beautiful spring and longs to fly to freedom after being trapped in this relationship that leads nowhere. It reminds me of "Drunk" song by Casino, where the guy is trapped in a casino and looks outside through a crack in a boarded window and sees that there is a different world outside:
    3. She is moderately pretty. Not a dazzling beauty though. Supposedly a simple girl from the country brought to a city. Her biggest asset: her youth - and it passing and is being wasted, which the clock under glass is supposed to symbolize.
    4. Men can only envy this guy: he is wealthy so he can afford keeping a house for his mistress. He gives her lots of presents and he can play piano and sing (how I hate the talented musicians who think all girls are for them to take ;-)). But the thing I am most jealous of is his facial hair. How can a woman resist something like that?



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